Deciding to renovate your home and getting the resources for the project are significant steps towards giving your house that satisfying beauty and comfort you have always longed for. However, the success of the project will still depend a lot on the general contractor that you will select for the job. For those with trusted contractors who have worked for them before, you are just fine if you were satisfied with the work. However, if you are fresh on this and can’t even get a trusted referral, things can be difficult.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, the following interview questions will help you arrive at the best general contractor for the job. Of course, you will need to first go through the prospective general contractors’ websites to see whether they are even worth the interview in the first place. From that website perusal, narrow down to a few options, and subject them to the following questions to see who is best for the job.
Main Questions for a Contractor
- Are you licensed?
If the answer to this is no, stop the conversation and move on to more serious options. However, if you get a yes, it may be essential for you to ask to see a copy of the license. Check whether it is valid and describes the exact scope of work you are looking to engage the contractor in.
- Does the contractor have insurance cover?
Here, you must ask for both the general liability coverage and workers compensation insurance. It the answer to either or both is a no, you will need to get past that contractor and move on. If the answer is a yes, then you will need to see proof of the same. Also, ask the type of insurance and the policy amount. Do not go for a contractor who will leave you with unbearable liability in case of an accident.
- Have you operated under a different name before?
Also, ask the contractor if they have ever been declared bankrupt or sued before.
- How long have you been in business?
You should also know if for the period the contractor has been in practice, their work has been relevant, or they just jumped into it recently. 15 years + of relevant experience is fine. Do not go for a contractor with no experience, who is waiting to hire a sub once you award the contract.
- How is your work guaranteed?
You must seek to know what home warranty the contractor provides, and how long it takes to expire.
- Do you provide written lien waivers?
Upon completion, the contractor must be able to provide legal acknowledgment document that you made the full payment.
- How is your billing cycle set up?
The contractor must reveal how often they invoice their customers throughout the project.
- Does the contractor handle the permitting process from the village?
Avoid contractors who will need you to facilitate permitting and inspections.
Other important questions include:
- Can the contractor provide a list of contact references?
- Has the contractor done a similar job before? What challenges did he/she face?
- Who will be on the site for the daily management of the project?
- By what means, and how often does the contractor communicate with customers?
- How do you ensure safety and cleanliness at the project site?
- How many on-going projects does the contractor have?
- How versed is the contractor with current trends in the trade?
Each of these questions should be dug deeper to get the most in-depth understanding of the contractor.